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Gering Arts Festival Saturday in Legion Park
June 10, 2010 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
An entire day of family fun is planned for this Saturday as the Gering Merchants host the ninth annual Gering Arts Festival in Legion Park from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
“We really wanted to invest in the arts festival and make it something that could grow even bigger and better over the years,” said committee chairperson Lisa Betz. “We have a lot of new things happening this weekend.”
One of the special appearances in Legion Park is professional puppeteer Robert Aiken, appearing as Bruiser the Dog. Bruiser will roam the park at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to meet the public. Aiken will also perform a main stage puppet show at 3 p.m., featuring Bruiser and a cast of his other characters.
Betz said many of the familiar events from past years will be returning. Entertainment will include Timothy Ostdeik and cowboy poetry by Gering Citizen writers Tim Nolting and Deb Carpenter-Nolting. Los Guadalupanos Dancers will also appear, gospel groups the Hebbert Family and Prairie Friends, along with bluegrass music from the Green Valley Homesteaders.
“We’ve always done a sidewalk chalk art contest with the arts festival,” Betz said. “This year, we’re offering a grand prize of $100 and that’s open to all ages. And each child who participates will receive a collectible coin.”
Food vendors and face painters will also be participating. And a new event has been scheduled – hair sculpture. “The stylists at the Roots Salon will take volunteers and give them an entirely new hairdo,” Betz said. “The stylists will completely change your look by combing, teasing, curling, straightening and spraying with colorful hair spray and glitter.”
More than 35 artists are expected to display their work this year, more than double last year’s count.
“We wanted a lot more energy in the park with a lot more things going on and a lot more art,” Betz said. “I think we’ve achieved our goal. There are some other events going on the community on Saturday, and we’ve extended festival hours so people can see everything that’s going on that day.”
In conjunction with the Arts Festival, just a block away, several strange creatures in the shape of bike racks will be on display at the Gering Public Library. The bike rack artwork, welded and painted by members of the North Platte Valley Artist Guild, will be dedicated in front of the library at 3 p.m. on Monday, June 14.
At 5 p.m. in Legion Park, winners for the sidewalk chalk art contest will be announced and prizes awarded. Then, the band Money Shot will perform to close out the day.
This is the first year the Gering Arts Festival has corporate sponsorship. The event is made possible by Viaero Wireless, Valley Bank and Trust, Hometown Family Radio, US Bank, the Gering Citizen, First State Bank, Creative Signs by Cozad, the Gering Merchants, City of Gering Keno Funds, Monument Inns and Suites, Precision Water, Roots Salon and the Union Bar.
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